June 01, 2005
Kurt Gallagher
(202) 639-6491

Social Security Union President to Speak Out Against Private Accounts

To Address Campaign for America’s Future’s Take Back America Conference

WHAT: John Gage, AFGE national president, to address Social Security Privatization at Take Back America 2005 conference
WHERE: Washington Hilton Hotel, Ballroom East
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
WHEN: Thursday, June 2, 11:30 a.m.

(WASHINGTON) John Gage, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), will address the Take Back America 2005 conference on Thursday, June 2 at 11:30 a.m. AFGE, which represents about 50,000 employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA), has been active in a coalition of organizations opposing proposals to divert money from the Social Security trust fund for the purpose of establishing private accounts. Earlier this year, two AFGE members testified before Congress about pressure put on career employees to promote President Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security.

Gage, a near 30-year employee of SSA, said, “Americans put a lot of trust in the workers of SSA, turning to the agency during emotional times: the beginning of retirement, the advent of a disability or the loss of a loved one. Career professionals refused to take advantage of that trust, saying ‘no’ to pressure by agency upper management to sell the public on the president’s Social Security privatization plan.”

Gage will address the role that the American labor community has played in the campaign to strengthen Social Security and to block the establishment of privatized accounts. “The truth is that private accounts do nothing to ensure the continued solvency of Social Security. That fact should be the biggest scandal of the privatization campaign,” said Gage.

Take Back America 2005 is sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future, a grassroots organization working to revitalize a progressive agenda and fighting to make the economy work for working people once again. Take Back America brings together hundreds of progressive leaders and activists annually.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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